Big summer ahead.
Barcelona recently activated a clause that keeps Robert Fernandez for a third year after two years as the club’s sporting director.
Robert signed in 2015 after Josep Maria Bartomeu won elections to become club president. He was unable to make any signings in his first year, as Barcelona were under a transfer ban. The captures of Aleix Vidal and Arda Turan predate Robert’s time as sporting director.
Last summer we saw Robert’s first real haul, which focused on young players. The financial outlay was extensive, and the return so far is… mediocre.
For sure, Samuel Umtiti is a hit, while Jasper Cillissen has done a good job as a backup goalkeeper.
Going down the list, it’s hard to rave too much about the performances by Paco Alcacer, Andre Gomes, Lucas Digne, or Denis Suarez this season. These are young players who had bright moments during the season, so there’s every chance they will prove their worth soon, but in the meantime Barcelona did not have the bench to compete with the likes of Real Madrid.
On the departure side, there’s questions to be asked about letting Sandro Ramirez and Dani Alves go for free.
This upcoming transfer season presents challenges. Barcelona desperately need a right-back to replace Alves. The team also needs to slim down the glut of average-to-okay midfielders and bring in one star, while keeping costs down. That in addition to sorting the situations of players such as Munir El-Haddadi, Gerard Deulofeu, or Javier Mascherano.
We will see whether Robert does a good enough job to justify a renewal.